Mailbox Sizes, Archiving, and OWA

Posted on 2005-04-11
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I am using Exchange Server 2003 SP1 here at my company. The users must keep all emails for auditing and reference purposes- this is non negotiable. More than half of the users are setup to use OWA over HTTPS to hit their emails while on the road on business trips and from home of course. The previous IT Admin never thought of the future when he set the system up. He never set up reasonable Mailbox size quotas, nor did he implement any kind of plan to backup peoples pst's and archives. All of the Exchange Mailboxes are basically being used for Inboxes (good) and Filing Cabinets (bad). Some of the Mailboxes are now getting up to the 1gB range. The IT Admin setup the quota at 1gB in size- and now I am wondering when will this end? If I keep setting the size limits larger and larger- I am eventually going to run out of disk space, or the server will crash.

My supervisor keeps telling me to come up with a plan to A) Allow us to squeeze these mailboxes down in size  B) Come up with a strategy on how we are going to store and allow access to the older archived/stored emails  and  C) Allow these emails to still be accessed via OWA

This is amazing as there is a Group Policy script that is Auto-Archiving every 2 weeks but is set to save locally on their machines. Some of the computers here are nearing death and it scares me that they are on those computers.

I was thinking to set up Outlook Data folders in each of their mapped Users drives on one of the other servers, make a Group Policy to Auto-Archive to that location every 2 months, and for the individual users to open the archive folder as needed. This I also do not like as we are now spreading the application onto 3 machines. If I do implement this plan, you cant open Archives from OWA. I do not know where to go from here!

I definitley need some good advice here guys. Please help!
Question by:Trihimbulus
    LVL 27

    Expert Comment

    You could implement a 3rd party archiving system such as KVS. This will archive messages out of the database and leave pointers in the users mailbox for these messages. When the user opens this link, the actual email will open. This will allow users to be able to access archived emails from any source, OWA or Outlook.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    What I did is I created the users their own public folders. No one but the user who owns the folder can even see the folder because I set the default and anonymous access to none which negates the "view" property. This keeps the archived mail out of the message store so it does not bog down the mail system but keeps them available. If the messages are no longer needed by the end user they can be burned of to DVD or CD from the mail server.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Never mind this will not work from OWA

    Author Comment

    I Would Love to go the KVS route- but I am sure it costs a few thousand dollars (licenses). I do not know how happy they would be about that. Do I have any other options???
    LVL 27

    Accepted Solution

    That will probably be the only way that fits all 3 of your needs since PST files are not availiable to OWA.

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